Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Does Smoking Compound Other MS Risk Factors?

A new study shows that smoking may increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who also have specific established risk factors for MS. The research is found in the April 7, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The research involved 442 people with MS and 865 people without the disease from three studies: the Nurses’ Health Study I/Nurses’ Health Study II, the Tasmanian MS Study and the Swedish MS Study.

Researchers first determined whether participants had known risk factors for MS, including having a high level of antibody in the blood to the Epstein-Barr virus (a common herpes virus that infects most people but is associated with MS in a small fraction of those infected), or having an immune-system-related gene called the HLA-DR15 gene (which is present in 20% of the population at large but 60% of patients with MS).

The study found that among those with high levels of the antibody to the Epstein-Barr virus, smokers were twice as likely to have MS as those who had never smoked. The same association was not seen in those with low antibody levels. The risk of MS associated with smoking was not different in people with and without the HLA-DR15 gene.

“The consistency of an association between MS, smoking and the body’s immune response to the Epstein-Barr virus based on these three distinct, geographically diverse studies suggests this finding is not due to chance,” said study author Claire Simon, ScD, with Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “This relationship may provide clues as to why certain individuals develop MS while others do not.”

In the United States, the average lifetime risk of developing MS is approximately one in 200 for women and one in 600 for men. Among those with high antibody levels to the Epstein-barr virus, smokers may have up to a twofold increase in MS risk compared to non-smokers.

MS is the most common non-traumatic disabling neurologic disease in the US.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Health and Research Council of Australia, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund and MS Australia.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit

Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>